The Israel / Palestine mire (again)

LeVeL

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The murky story behind Netanyahu?s claim of a Palestinian role in the Holocaust

In 1941, Adolph Hitler?s war in Europe was going pretty well. The Nazis had invaded Poland in 1939, and France the following year. While the Blitz hadn?t finished off the United Kingdom, the United States was, at least, still not officially in the fight. For the Third Reich, things were looking up.

So, on Nov. 28 of that year, Hitler took the time to meet with a Palestinian politician: Haj Amin al-Husseini, the ?Mufti of Jerusalem.? For a generation raised on ?Saving Private Ryan? more familiar with D-Day than Nazi Germany?s machinations in the Middle East, Husseini?s name was not familiar ? perhaps until now, thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in a speech to the World Zionist Congress on Tuesday, said the all-but-forgotten leader inspired the Fuhrer to exterminate 6 million Jews.

?Hitler didn?t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews,? Netanyahu said. ?And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ?If you expel them, they?ll all come here.? ?So what should I do with them?? he asked. He said, ?Burn them.?? Husseini had ?a central role in fomenting the Final Solution,? Netanyahu added.

As the Washington Post?s William Booth pointed out, Netanyahu?s ?remarks were intended to underline his contention that the root cause of Palestinian violence is not Israel?s 48-year-old military occupation of the West Bank, the building of Jewish settlements on lands that the Palestinians hope to make part of their future state, or the partial trade and travel blockade of the Gaza Strip, but old and intractable hatred of Jews.?

Many around the world immediately decried Netanyahu?s remarks. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel?s office had to point out that it was Nazis, not Palestinians, who ?led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust.?

?Perhaps we should exhume the corpses of the 33,771 Jews murdered in Babi Yar [in the Ukraine] in September 1941, two months before the Mufti and Hitler met, and bring them up to speed on the fact that the Nazis had no intention of destroying them,? Zehava Galon of Israel?s left-wing Meretz party wrote on her Facebook page.

So, if Husseini wasn?t inspiring Hitler to build concentration camps during their meeting, what was he doing? According to one record of the meeting, trying to get Hitler to publicly support him ? and failing.

As The Washington Post?s Booth reported, Husseini was a religious and political leader of the Arab population in British-controlled Palestine between the world wars. He fomented deadly riots against the Zionists coming to Palestine; opposed mass migration of Jews; and allied with Hitler and the Nazis during World War II, in part because of his opposition to British colonial rule. A pan-Arabist, Husseini spent the war in Berlin, broadcasting Arabic language propaganda and incitement against Jews and the allies.

A record of the Mufti?s meeting with Hitler appears in ?Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945, Series D, Vol XIII? ? a trove of captured German foreign policy documents published after the war. (The original can be seen here ? an account of the meeting begins on Page 873. The Times of Israel has posted a version that?s a bit easier to read.) As the account, written in the third person, makes clear, Husseini started out by stressing that he was on the Nazis? side.

?The Arab countries were firmly convinced that Germany would win the war and that the Arab cause would then prosper,? Husseini said, as the document paraphrased. ?The Arabs were Germany?s natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely the English, the Jews and the Communists.?

But if Hitler wanted Arabs to rise up, Husseini said he would need visible support.

?A public declaration in this sense would be very useful for its propagandistic effect on the Arab peoples at this moment,? Husseini said. ?It would rouse the Arabs from their momentary lethargy and give them new courage. It would also ease the Mufti?s work of secretly organizing the Arabs against the moment when they could strike. At the same time, he could give the assurance that the Arabs would in strict discipline patiently wait for the right moment and only strike upon an order from Berlin.?

Hitler?s response? Well, he supported the Arabs, and was for ?uncompromising war against the Jews.? But he had a little problem: a world war with ?two citadels of Jewish power: Great Britain and Soviet Russia.? Sure, eventually Germany would get around to crushing Zionist dreams in the Middle East ? when that effort wouldn?t drain resources from the battlefields of Europe. The Fuhrer, after all, ?had to think and speak coolly and deliberately.?

Husseini would have to wait.

?For the good of their common cause, it would be better if the Arab proclamation were put off for a few more months than if Germany were to create difficulties for herself without being able thereby to help the Arabs,? Hitler said.

Husseini, undeterred, pressed the Fuhrer again: ?He asked, however, whether it would not be possible, secretly at least, to enter into an agreement with Germany of the kind he had just outlined for the Fuhrer.? Hitler?s underwhelming response: ?The Fuhrer replied that he had just now given the Grand Mufti precisely that confidential declaration.?

Historians, of course, disagree on the significance of Husseini?s relationship with Hitler and the significance of this meeting.

?There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the Mufti had an important role in the Holocaust,? Boris Havel of Croatia?s ministry of foreign affairs, the author of a recent journal article about Husseini, wrote The Washington Post in an e-mail. ?By the end of 1930s Germany still allowed its Jews to emigrate. No Jews were allowed to emigrate after Mufti established himself in Berlin. The Mufti has been calling on killing Jews since early 1920s, i.e. even before Nazi regime came to power in Germany.? (In an e-mail, Havel his views ?do not reflect the official policy or position of the Institution by which he is employed.?)

One book, ?Icon of Evil: Hitler?s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam? (2008) ? citing Hitler?s alleged comment to Husseini ?the Jews are yours? ? argued that the Mufti?s sit-down with the Fuhrer was pivotal.

?At the conclusion of their ninety-five-minute meeting, the mufti could reflect with great satisfaction on what he had achieved,? David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann wrote. ?Only three weeks after his arrival in Berlin on November 7, the mufti?s dream of a more formal alliance between radical Islam and Hitler?s Germany had become a reality.?

But other historians disagreed.

?Hitler?s alleged and highly unlikely pledge to Husseini (?The Jews are yours?) is based on a passage in the mufti?s own memoirs,? historian Tom Segev explained in a New York Times review of the book. ?But there is an official German record of his meeting with Hitler that contains no such statement. In fact the mufti did not achieve his major goal: Hitler refused to sign a public statement of support for him.?

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum ? while highlighting Husseini?s rabid anti-Semitism, wartime propaganda work and recruitment efforts for the SS among Bosnian Muslims ? also said in an article on its Web site that he never got what he wanted from the Nazis.

Husseini ?sought public recognition from the Axis powers of his status as leader of a proposed Arab nation,? the museum?s Web site explained. ?He also sought public approval from the Axis powers for an independent Arab state or federation to ?remove? or ?eliminate? the proposed Jewish homeland in Palestine. He made this declaration a condition for the awaited general uprising in the Arab world. The Germans, and Hitler in particular, repeatedly denied [his] request for legitimization.?

In the end, the mufti who met Hitler ? a man who shared his vision, but would refuse to tell the world ? ended up marginalized. Exiled after the war, he died in Lebanon in 1974.

Husseini ?tried in vain to retain leadership of the Palestinian movement,? an obituary read. ?But by then, younger Palestinians were turning away from him and eventually formed the Palestine Liberation Organization.?

Another historian found the debate ? if there is one ? about Husseini?s connection to Hitler ?puzzling.?

?The authorship of the Holocaust is not really up for debate,? Stefan Ihrig, a German historian at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, said in a telephone interview, ?and there is nothing in the research of the last 20 to 30 years to suggest that it would be.?
TL;DR version: the Mufti was a POS but Bibi is incorrect.
 

Momentum57

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"confidential declaration" I'm not saying it doesn't jive but it sounds like the Hitler Diaries.
 

GRtak

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TL;DR version: the Mufti was a POS but Bibi is incorrect.


Does this skew his reputation at all with you? Do you see how this could cloud his thoughts on how to deal with things?
 

GRtak

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That is not what I asked, or meant.
 

laxmax613

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Just gonna put this out there, but this really troubles me. I hope that the opposition take this opportunity that opened up to set records straight and begin the process of getting new elections.
 

LeVeL

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Does this skew his reputation at all with you? Do you see how this could cloud his thoughts on how to deal with things?
I've never considered him (or anyone else) a saint that can do no wrong.
That is not what I asked, or meant.
I know what you meant but no, it doesn't really change my view of him. He has a far cleaner record than American politicians when it comes to saying stupid things and getting called out for it. Also, my views aren't based on his - they just happen to (mostly) align, so why would they change just because Bibi said something wrong?
 

GRtak

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I know what you meant but no, it doesn't really change my view of him. He has a far cleaner record than American politicians when it comes to saying stupid things and getting called out for it. Also, my views aren't based on his - they just happen to (mostly) align, so why would they change just because Bibi said something wrong?


Because he seems to really believe this, and it could cloud his judgment on dealing with them.
 

LeVeL

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Not 100% appropriate for this thread but since it's about Israel and mentions Palestinians, I figured why not.

ISIS Warns Jews in Hebrew, You?re Next to be Slaughtered

ISIS released a video in Israeli-Arabic-accented Hebrew, ranting and warning the Jews that Islamic State plans to come to Israel to slaughter and eradicate everyone until no Jews are left in Jerusalem, Israel and the world. They would first overrun Jordan, after which they would overrun Israel from every direction.

ISIS has been focusing a lot of attention on Israel lately, and local ISIS affiliated terror cells have been captured by Israeli security forces. A number of Israeli-Arabs have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

This may be the first time that the Islamist organization has spoken directly to Israelis in Hebrew.

The clip shows a masked soldier wearing a uniform, with a rifle and a dagger, who speaks a fairly modern dialect, with an accent that shifts from heavily Arab, with an unusually soft R for an Arab speaker (which could suggest Israeli upbringing). Like most Arabs, he is unable to pronounce the P sound, and so he says Bashut instead of Pashut (simple), and Bachad?tem instead of Pachad?tem (you feared).

At the beginning of the video, he turns to the camera and says, ?This is a serious and clear announcement to all the Jews, the first enemy of the Muslims. To all the Jews who conquered our country, the Muslims. The real war has not started yet, and everything you had before is simply called a child?s play compared to that which is going to happen to you in the near future, inshallah (God willing).?

Speaking of the current wave of terror, he expresses the hope that ISIS will arrive and destroy Israel. He promises the annulment of the Sykes-Picot borders, which, in 1916, divided the dying Ottoman between France and Great Britain. He boasts of having already eliminated the Syrian-Iraqi border, and foretells erasing the Syrian-Jordanian border, too?a direct threat against King Abdullah II of Jordan. He then promises removing the Syrian-Palestinian borders, too, which is a curious promise, because that could mean the end of the dream of Palestinian statehood (under Ottoman rule, Palestine was ruled by a governor who sat in Damascus).

He promises to eventually arrive in Israel to destroy it, to avenge its ?crimes,? telling Israelis: ?Do whatever you feel like in the meantime, until we get to you, and then we?ll destroy everything ten times over for the crimes your committed. And we promise you that soon there will not be a single Jew in Jerusalem and throughout the country. And we?ll continue on until we eradicate this disease worldwide.?

The above reference to Jews as a worldwide disease suggests the speaker is versed in 19th century anti-Semitic literature, probably in the texts published and distributed by the Saudi government, which rules over a publishing empire dedicated to Jew hatred.

He repeats a theme commonly used by Hamas culture, chiding Jews and Westerners for their love of life, as compared to the Arab Klingon-like infatuation with death and killing. ?Look what happened to you,? he slams his Israeli viewers, ?a few stabbings and running over by our brothers in Palestine, you fell over on your head and started to fear any driver traveling too fast. You?re even scared of any person who grabs something in his hand. Simply put, that is your level. Think about it even for a second, what will happen to you as soon as?inshallah?tens of thousands from all over the world will be coming to slaughter you and throw you in the trash without a return??

The speaker is clearly an Israeli Arab, or an Arab from the territories who attended an Israeli educational institute or otherwise lived near Israeli Jews. He is likely the son of a middle class family, he appears poised and secure. His recitation is restrained, meaning that he knows and understands his target audience: excited Hamas videos in Hebrew are usually so over the top, and rife with humiliating pronunciation gaffes, they often go viral as comedy. This one is not for laughs.
 

Firecat

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It's a bit surprising ISIS is only now setting their sights on them. I think they should watch Munich before they try to engage. Israel will wipe the floor with them. I think it's just grandstanding and they are tying to reach out to others through anti-semitism which is pathetic
 

LeVeL

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Dumbest article I've read so far this week:

Walmart, Amazon stir critics with Israeli soldier costume

It's not clear what Walmart (WMT) or Amazon (AMZN) were intending when they listed a child-sized Israeli Army soldier's uniform as a Halloween costume, but inciting a social media controversy probably wasn't the goal.

Critics are claiming the retailers are sending the wrong message by selling the costume, which features olive-green pants and jacket with Hebrew writing, as well as red beret. Neither Walmart nor Amazon immediately returned a request for comment.

The costume is stirring up strong feelings among critics on social media, including Alternet.org writer Max Blumenthal, the son of journalist and former political aide Sidney Blumenthal, who wrote on Twitter, "Walmart is promoting occupation and the killing of innocent children this Halloween." On Amazon, the costume is sparking a host of one-star reviews, with customers calling it "propaganda" and "disgusting."

The retailers are selling the costume as a fun option for children just as violence between Palestinians and Israel's government has been mounting. Despite an agreement brokered over the weekend by the U.S., violence between Israelis and Palestinians continued on Sunday and Monday, according to The Washington Post, which cited "lethal reprisals" from Israel in response to Palestinian attacks.

As of Tuesday morning, Amazon had more than 100 reviews of the costume, with most of them giving the item one star and highlighting their views of Israeli military practices.

"Israeli soldiers kill, maim, torture and kidnap men women and children daily, how can you promote or sell a costume that is related to dehumanizing practices of oppression and criminal warfare?" one reviewer wrote.

While the costume has landed in the middle of a controversy over Israeli-Palestinian actions, the retailers may simply be trying to appeal to demand for children's military-style Halloween costumes. Amazon, for instance, points customers to a number of other military-themed costumes for children, including a "camo trooper" with a skull face mask that shows a child about to lob a grenade. A Navy Seal costume on the site shows a child in camo face paint, holding a knife in an attack pose.

Most of the military costumes are depicted as worn by boys. To be sure, there are military costumes for girls, but like the boys' costumes, they tend to veer into well-worn gender stereotypes: top military-themed girls costumes sold by Amazon include "cutie cadet" or a "major flirt."

Boys are often shown images that glorify war, presenting violence as a socially acceptable method of resolving a conflict, according to an Unesco publication called "Male Roles, Masculinities and Violence." Given the wave of mass shootings in the U.S., some are asking whether there's a problem with how American culture glamorizes male violence, on top of debate about the country's gun laws.

Whatever your view of military-themed costumes for kids, Walmart doesn't appear to be winning this Halloween when it comes to culturally sensitive costumes. It's also selling what's billed as the "Sheik Fagin nose," which is a latex nose with an exaggerated hook shape. The name presumably refers to Charles Dickens' villain Fagin, a portrayal that's been considered anti-Semitic.

Some other costumes this Halloween are stirring up controversy, including one based on the American dentist who killed Cecil the Lion. The bottom line is that some retailers may not care much about cultural sensitivities when it comes to chasing that bottom line.
Takes a special kind of moron to make this big of a deal out of a g-ddamn Halloween costume. I guess nothing is off-limits when your agenda is to defend terrorists.
 

laxmax613

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If you really think about what costumes and, more abstractly, masks, say about a society, it bears importance to analyze them. Granted, this article doesn't really do the intellectual legwork to analyze what it means to put on the costume of an Israeli soldier. One sentence from the article starts to look critically into what this might mean:

FP said:
"Boys are often shown images that glorify war, presenting violence as a socially acceptable method of resolving a conflict, according to an Unesco publication called "Male Roles, Masculinities and Violence." Given the wave of mass shootings in the U.S., some are asking whether there's a problem with how American culture glamorizes male violence, on top of debate about the country's gun laws."

Still, I don't think that it's worthwhile to critique the way that our society engages with the adoption of costume personas through this case alone. It's much more salient to discuss this in terms that include the sexualization of mask identities, specifically in terms that legitimize destructive gender and race relations before we talk about how these things mark points on discourse about Israel and Palestine. The article takes a stupidly narrow view of the way we understand the meaning assigned by society to halloween costumes which precludes it from actually saying something interesting. Because there is plenty interesting to say about them in general, and only then can whatever is happening here be really clearly looked at.
 

prizrak

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Dumbest article I've read so far this week:


Takes a special kind of moron to make this big of a deal out of a g-ddamn Halloween costume. I guess nothing is off-limits when your agenda is to defend terrorists.

Wait I can buy an IDF uniform as a costume? I know what I'm going as!
 
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